Your Views for March 5


‘Please resign’

Oh, Faye Hanohano, how the truth leaks out when we become angry. You would do very well to remember that the ethnicities you insulted are the very people who elected you and pay your salary.

Notwithstanding your weak and pro-forma apology, you clearly harbor dislike and animosity for the majority of your constituents. We deserve better than you. Please resign.

Don Weeks

Pahoa

Apology not accepted

In Hawaii, whenever someone says something incredibly stupid or offensive, we pretend to ignore it to avoid shaming the speaker. Many of my friends and family of Japanese ancestry are deeply offended by Rep. Faye Hanohano’s racial slur (the “J” word), but really don’t want to say anything publicly. I feel differently.

It wasn’t a matter of if people were offended by Rep. Hanohano’s racist slur. The question should be, who wasn’t offended by it? Americans of Japanese ancestry have already paid the price to be free from this kind of racism.

They paid that price by being rounded up and herded into internment camps across the country, including Hawaii. They paid that price with their blood and their lives across the battlefields of Europe and Asia during World War II. Their receipts are the grave stones in Europe, Arlington, Punchbowl and here in the veteran’s cemeteries.

They paid that price so well that when the Korean War started years later, my father and his brothers, second-generation Americans of Korean ancestry, were able to fight for America without being questioned about their loyalty or having their families suffer the same type of racism.

Rep. Hanohano gave a politician’s non-apology apology — a statement intended to deflect responsibility. For whatever reason, she just can’t own up to her mistake. But that says more about who she is, than it does about her political party or her Hawaiian ancestry.

In Hawaii, we tend to react to racism differently than our friends and family on the mainland. But, racist statements, especially made by a government official, must be confronted head-on and publicly.

Ask anyone of Jewish ancestry about what happens when government officials turn racism into government policy. I agree with my Jewish friends when it comes to this kind of racism and government officials: “Never again.”

Ted H. S. Hong

Hilo

 

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